Red at the Bone

Red at the Bone

Moving forward and backward in time, Jacqueline Woodson's taut and powerful new novel uncovers the role that history and community have played in the experiences, decisions, and relationships of these families, and in the life of the new child.

As the book opens in 2001, it is the evening of sixteen-year-old Melody's coming of age ceremony in her grandparents' Brooklyn brownstone. Watched lovingly by her relatives and friends, making her entrance to the music of Prince, she wears a special custom-made dress. But the event is not without poignancy. Sixteen years earlier, that very dress was measured and sewn for a different wearer: Melody's mother, for her own ceremony-- a celebration that ultimately never took place.

Unfurling the history of Melody's parents and grandparents to show how they all arrived at this moment, Woodson considers not just their ambitions and successes but also the costs, the tolls they've paid for striving to overcome expectations and escape the pull of history. As it explores sexual desire and identity, ambition, gentrification, education, class and status, and the life-altering facts of parenthood, Red at the Bone most strikingly looks at the ways in which young people must so often make long-lasting decisions about their lives--even before they have begun to figure out who they are and what they want to be.

Title:Red at the Bone
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780525535270
Format Type:

    Red at the Bone Reviews

  • Nilufer Ozmekik

    Finally my soul landed on a poignant, beautifully written, emotional, heart-warming story. When this year’s fiction books suffer from lack of creativity and mostly published by commercial success, i...

  • chai ?

    Red at the Bone landed heavily within me, like a stone sinking in deep water, and the thought of it still makes my heart racket strangely in my chest. Now, I'm snatching at things to say, grasping for...

  • Angela M

    To say that Jacqueline Woodson is gifted story teller who writes beautifully almost feels like faint praise. The story begins with Melody, celebrating her sixteenth birthday, walking down the stairs i...

  • Diane S ?

    I loved it. Loved everything about this book. The gorgeous prose. The way in just a relatively few pages, Woodsen managed to flesh out her characters, making them autentic people. The themes explored....

  • Will Byrnes

    …now I knew there were so many ways to get hung from a cross—a mother’s love for you morphing into something incomprehensible. A dress ghosted in another generation’s dreams. A history of f...

  • emma

    I am a sucker for a short book.This is not because I am lazy - okay, yes, it's because I'm lazy. I enjoy finishing a book per day and I also enjoy spending large portions of my day playing Animal Cros...

  • JanB

    This is a look at the effects of teenage pregnancy on two families, one well-off, the other poor. Told through shifting time periods and multiple perspectives of the parents, grandparents, and the chi...

  • Paromjit

    Jacqueline Woodson's writes a profoundly lyrical inter-generational black family drama, its history, of race, class, the trials and tribulations of being alive, of identity, sexuality, love, loss, gri...

  • Jen

    This story is raw with emotion. A child who is turning 16 and having a coming of age party evokes the memories of her from her mom, when she had her at 16, her dad - just a kid himself, grandma who ra...

  • Karen

    I just loved this! This story is about two urban black families and shifts around in time and is told by the points of view of each of the five characters. An unplanned teenage pregnancy and how their...